Welcoming a new hire to the team is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved. After all, this person possesses knowledge, skills, and experience that can help drive your company forward. That’s why it’s important that your new hire isn’t just onboarded properly, but also feels welcome from the moment he or she steps into the office. Keep the following five tips in mind:
Send the new team member a personalized email. HR will likely send the employee the company’s standard welcome email, but it’s nice if you send him or her one, too. Begin by stating how excited you and your team are to have the new employee on board. Then mention what you’re working on and how his or her experience will be an asset for the project. Finally, invite the employee to come to you with any questions or concerns.
Prepare a collage of colleagues. In his Fast Company article “5 Ways to Make New Employees Feel Welcome,” Harvey Deutschendorf suggests instead of simply providing a list of names of immediate colleagues, preparing a collage that includes their photos with names and roles, as well as some information about their personal lives, such as hobbies, pets, or anything else the person wants to share.
Make a shadow-rotation schedule. If time and company policy allow, it can be helpful to have the new employee shadow each of the other team members for a day. This can help the new hire gain a greater understanding of what everyone’s role is in the team.
Appoint a mentor. This should be a more experienced employee who can help the new hire learn the culture and assimilate. Keep in mind that according to Susan M. Heathfield in her article “How to Welcome a New Employee” for The Balance, the new hire shouldn’t have a reporting relationship with the mentor.
Organize a social event for the entire team. On the first day or sometime during the first week, invite everyone to a fun social event like a lunch, dinner or after-work mixer. This will give the new team member the opportunity to get to know his or her new colleagues better — and vice versa.
Helping a new employee feel welcome from the very first day goes a long way to making him or her feel valued and engaged. That’s why it’s always worth going the extra mile to ensure every new hire’s first days on your team are a positive experience.